June 5: First Day Surfing

New people came to the camp and we had a slow morning. A few of us went for a hike and then waited for surf lessons. 

It was our first surfing day and we would be meeting Julika, the owner and surf instructor at 2 pm. I was excited but also nervous. I had planned on getting in shape before coming to surf for a month and a half in Portugal. I was going to strengthen my core and arms but as usual, I didn’t make my physical or mental health a priority while under other academic and life pressures. I’ve got no one to blame but myself. Sigh.

However, I told myself that my background as a lifeguard, swim instructor, dancer, and yogi would still help. I would soon learn that absolutely none of this mattered. At all.

I have wanted to learn to surf since I was a little girl. I love the ocean and surfing seemed like a wonderful way to commune with nature and super fun. Hard, but fun. I was also on this trip because I'm interested in exploring the history of women in surfing and it's relationship to a few other topics as a potential thesis project. (The full nature will not be revealed because like most artists/writers/creatives I'm slightly paranoid that someone will steal my idea.)


We met Julika, did short introductions, pick out wetsuits and boards, and were taught how to pack a surf van.

Well, sort of.


That first day was nothing but pure fun. We pushed out into the water and just rode the waves flat on our boards for the first hour. We didn’t try to stand or do 360s, just let the waves push us straight to shore.

Then Julika showed us how to stand and we tried that for an hour. Or in my case, trying = failing miserably and wiping out a million times.

“I’ll get it tomorrow,” I told myself.

 Simon & the Sea

Simon & the Sea